The 4 Most Common Car Accident Injuries

The 4 Most Common Car Accident Injuries

What Determines Your Injuries?

Car accidents can do more damage than simply putting your car in the shop. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2.3 million Americans were injured in car accidents in 2014. The good news is that with increased safety awareness and major advances in vehicle technology and design, those numbers are gradually decreasing. The bad news, of course, is that even ONE accident can cause serious injuries.

There are a number of factors that can impact the type and severity of your injuries, including whether you are

Wearing a seatbelt (hint: If not, your injuries are much more likely to be severe!)

Hit from the front, rear, or side of the car

Driving at a higher or lower speed

Facing forward in the car or facing another direction, leaning over, or lying down in the seat

If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident, the attorneys at Wayne Hardee cannot overstate the importance of getting medical attention as soon as possible, even if you initially feel fine. Why? While you might not be experiencing an obvious injury like a broken leg, you may have internal injuries or head trauma that won’t show symptoms for several days - but could be doing serious harm in the meantime.

Common Injuries

Because every car accident is different, no two injuries will be exactly alike. But there are some injuries that people commonly experience after being in a car wreck:

  1. Whiplash is one of the most common injuries resulting from a car accident. Whiplash occurs when your head and neck are suddenly jerked back and forth (like the cracking of a whip...hence the name). It most often occurs in rear-end collisions. Symptoms include neck pain, stiffness, and headaches. Most of those symptoms resolve over time, but may require medication, therapy, or chiropractic work. A smaller number will suffer from chronic neck problems and pain afterward. Other, more serious possible neck injuries include disc injury and cervical radiculopathy (irritated nerves).

  2. Concussions are another well-known car wreck injury and is usually caused by hitting your head on part of the car, like the steering wheel or window, giving your brain a “jolt” that can actually cause it to move in your skull.They’ve received recent attention for being more serious than previously thought, with doctors seeing long-term consequences in athletes who experience concussions more often than the average person. A concussion is actually classified as a mild traumatic brain injury. If you or someone you love has been involved in a car wreck, watch for signs of a concussion: confusion, slurred speech, nausea or vomiting, headaches, blurred vision, or memory loss, to name a few.

      A doctor will be able to diagnose a concussion if you seek medical attention after your accident.

  1. Back Injuries - Your spine is divided into three different sections: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar vertebrae. With all of the discs, muscles, tendons and nerves in your spinal area, a back injury may be very painful. In a car wreck, back injuries can range from strained muscles or dislocated discs to serious spinal cord trauma. In many cases, chiropractic work or physical therapy can relieve pain and help realign your spine, but some injuries may require surgery to restore mobility. You should never ignore back pain after being in an accident.

  2. Leg and Knee Injuries - Most people think of upper body injuries when discussing car wrecks, but your legs and knees are also at risk. This is usually results when a passenger hits their knees or legs on the dashboard, or when part of the car is smashed inward. The knee area, with its ligaments and tendons, is especially prone to injury. Other possible injuries include fractures, broken bones, or cuts and bruises.

Chiropractic Care

If you have “soft tissue” injuries, and not broken bones or open wounds, then you should consider seeing a chiropractor for treatment. Chiropractors are health care professionals who treat musculoskeletal injuries, particularly neck, back and spine issues. While they cannot prescribe medication, they can treat your injuries with a variety of adjustments, manipulations and massage. If you were injured in a car accident where you were not at fault, your chiropractic visits could be covered as part of your personal injury settlement.

Location Tagging: The Smartphone Feature You Need to Enable

Location Tagging: The Smartphone Feature You Need to Enable

What if I told you that your smartphone can be one of your most important assets if you’re involved in a car accident? You may be thinking, “Aren’t you the one who’s always telling me not to text while driving? Isn’t this a little contradictory?” Well - yes, I still firmly maintain that there is never a good reason to use your phone while you are driving. However, if you’ve been in a car wreck and have helped ensure that everyone involved is safe, it’s time to pull out your cell phone.

Gathering Evidence at the Scene of the Accident
In the aftermath of a crash, there’s often a lot of “he said, she said.” There may be as many versions of what happened as there are people at the scene: you, the other driver, eyewitnesses, the police officer who responds to the wreck, etc. And while witness statements will be important evidence if you choose to pursue a personal injury claim against the driver who caused the accident, there’s another piece of evidence that can prove even more valuable: photos. Photos can present facts and give context to the accident in a way that an eyewitness account cannot.

Smartphone Features: Location Tagging for Photos
Before you begin documenting the scene of the car accident, you’ll want to be sure that Location Tagging is enabled for your camera app. You probably know that every time you take a picture on your phone, it’s tagged with digital information, called metadata, that includes the time and date the photo is taken. This timestamp adds a layer of authenticity to your accident photos; it proves that you took the photos on the day and time of the accident.

With constantly advancing technology, however, now you can take it one step further: you can prove that the photos were taken at the place of the accident. This is thanks to Location Services, which uses a combination of GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi hotspots, and cell tower locations to determine your locations. While this is the technology that allows you to use Google Maps to find your friend’s house or a new restaurant, it also can tag your photo with the latitude and longitude coordinates where it was taken.

Step-By-Step: Enable Your Camera's Location Services 
Some phone providers have Location Services enabled automatically, but others do not. It’s a simple process to turn on this feature.

If you have an iPhone:

  • Open the Settings app
  • Scroll down to the Privacy option
  • Select Camera, and under Allow Location Access, select While Using App

If you have an Android:

  • Open the Camera app
  • Swipe from left to right on the screen
  • Tap the Settings icon
  • Toggle the Save Location button to On

Take a wide variety of photos: wide shots of the entire scene, close-up pictures of damage to vehicles, multiple angles, and surrounding street signs or intersection lights. Many people are not comfortable leaving those location settings turned on at all times; that’s understandable. You can enable this setting before taking pictures of the accident scene and then disable it when you’re done. 

Get a Free Consultation from an North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer
Now that you have photos, what should you do with them? If you've been injured in a car wreck in North Carolina, a local personal injury lawyer can help. The attorneys at Wayne Hardee Law are ready to answer your questions - your no-obligation consultation is always free. Call today at 1-252-238-4040 to get started. Wayne Hardee will be on your side throughout the entire process of filing a personal injury claim. 


National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

While the 20th century witnessed America’s great love affair with the car, in this century her object of affection has become the cell phone. While there are an estimated 150 million cars on U.S. roads, the country is believed to have about 330 million cell phones. Like oil and water, the incidence of car accidents suggests that the two do not mix well.

Different Tactics

The month of April has been designated National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. It is an initiative aimed at deterring motorists from using cell phones while driving, an act that accounts for a staggering 1.6 million car crashes or roughly 28 percent of all auto accidents in the country. These are directly caused by people texting or using handheld or hands-free cell phones while driving. The April initiative is a joint effort by the National Safety Council and FocusDriven – Advocates for Cell-Free Driving. Both organizations urge drivers to stop using cell phones while driving during April and beyond. Drivers are encouraged to put their cell phones in the glove compartments or trunk or their car and turn them off to avoid having to battle the temptation of answering a ringing phone, e-mail, or text message. Drivers are urged to change their existing voicemail greeting to warn callers that they might be driving, hence, that is why they are not picking up.

Remain Focused

Many drivers view driving, especially in known environments, as a simple, routine task which calls for minimal attention. In fact quite the reverse is true and you are required to be fully focused whenever you are behind the wheel to avoid an auto accident. If you are stuck in traffic though, going 3mph, if you must use your cell phone, then that is a different matter entirely.

A Consummate Professional

Nonetheless, car accidents do occur, a statistic that is vastly increased by cell phone users while driving. If you are ever involved in an automobile accident you should immediately contact an auto accident lawyer. There could be implications relating to personal injury to yourself, your passengers, or those in the other vehicle. These could have far-reaching consequences which you might not be aware of. A car accident lawyer like Wayne Hardee knows precisely what the stakes are and is best placed to protect your interests.